Alexa Anthonie and Jackie Burger at Elle Ed's Breakfast

Hairy Matters – Part III

Coco Chanel famously said, “A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.” Jackie Burger quoted her at the July edition of the Elle Ed’s breakfast. All the Elle readers agreed and I, with my wry smile, also nodded my agreement.

Haircuts have signalled many new beginnings and have frequently gotten me out of a mental rut. Ironically, some of these change-my-life cuts have also brought about extra, wholly unplanned life changes. The haircut from the curly-haired man who travels with professional hairdresser scissors being a case in point. And the very reason for winning a seat around Jackie Burger’s breakfast table being another.

The curly-haired man who travels with professional hairdresser scissors chose a balmy summer’s day to walk from a Cape Town sidewalk right into my life. By the time we exchanged haircuts our fate was sealed. I felt like a million bucks after getting my first chop, though I can’t say the same for him. The inexperienced chopper that I am, I had missed several spots that cost him all his curls. For a while he would just be the scissors man. No frustration. No resentment. He didn’t even blink! That’s when I knew I had a keeper!

Alexa Anthonie and Ivan Ballack

The scissors man and I after giving me my first chop

One would think that I’d learn my lesson then and there. But no …

I’d begun showing the scissors man pictures of the celebrity blogger, photographer and fashionista I was trying to emulate. I figured it might take a while to follow Garance Doré’s business strategies so I aimed for something more easily attainable – her haircut. The scissors man lovingly obliged, telling me (or was he warning me?) that I’m the prettiest thing on two legs and that I didn’t need this chop. 😃Kudos to him for saying such a nice thing, but after seeing this video of Garance’s Le Chop wouldn’t you want one too?

By the scissors man’s third attempt to get me exactly what I wanted, I began realising my mistake. I blamed my curls – why were they so darn curly! – and vented my frustration at the scissors man. Saint that he is, he just hugged my now poodle-looking self, pointing out that I was more than my hair. It really was futile to try and be or even look like someone else. Perhaps you’ll agree that this is common wisdom, but then you’ll also agree that some wisdom only sinks in after a real life experience.

Alexa Anthonie and Jackie Burger at Elle Ed's Breakfast

Former Elle SA editor Jackie Burger and I

Enter Elle Magazine and Mizani! They rushed as if to my rescue and made me two kinds of happy. On the one hand I got to meet, sit close to (one chair away!) and share in the career aha’s of Jackie Burger. And on the other hand, I discovered Mizani’s H2O Intense. The former was a great source of career encouragement. Jackie’s story made me realise that hard work over time does pay off and that prioritising health and relationships is always worthwhile. The latter, well, suffice it to say there’s no longer a poodle in my mirror!

Mizani products in Elle Ed's Breakfast goodie bag

The Mizani products in our Elle goodie bags – note the jar ‘glowing’ in the front

Mizani’s H2O Intense Strengthening Night-Time Treatment should be applied before you go to bed, as suggested by the name. The scissors man and my rebel strategy of applying it during the day have, however, paid off. Not only do we smell like holiday with hints of shea butter and coconut. The tiniest bit of this product every now and then also leaves both our curls silky and perfectly behaved. We’re definitely in love!

From sharing my hair drama in Hairy Matters Parts I  an II it became clear that we all have drama. Some of us are just further along in the process of realising 1. we are not our hair and 2. we are more than our hair. For some (like me) it’s a case of ‘rinse and repeat’. To all of you I say, “Experiment!” There will always be saints who will love you beyond your hairline. Besides, hair, which grows even in death, is resilient and pretty soon your ego will be too.

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